Monday, June 29, 2009

A parent of a child with ADHD.

I am a wife. First tho, I was a mom. He is gorgeous. Adorable. Loveing. Caring. Sympathetic towards others - I mean it! If you cry, he will pat you on the back and say "Its ok, don't cry." I love my child. But he is not normal - in an average persons sense of the word normal that is...

He has ADHD.

He was fine and "normal" and on the right path. Up till about three years old. I dont want to get into too much of those details, as we could be here all day long. Thats when he started getting behind speech wise. It just slowed down... And I found that odd...

Fast forward.

During the year between 3 and 4, it was hard. Seeing a case manager, and trying to get my son seen by the psych doctor at the behavioral health office. Trying to figure out why my child did not want to sleep... Ever! (there were nights where he was up literally all night. Playing in his room, getting into things... many of my nights were me crying asking Why.) It was hard on me. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I wanted to know what did I do, to have a child who yelled back at me, who never slept, who bit himself and hit himself. Now I know that children go through their phases. But this wasnt a phase. It was more than just terrible 3s or whatever. It was much much worse. My child would even hit me. I knew something wasnt right, but the psych doctor wouldnt see him because he wasnt 4.

We all had a hard time understanding my son. He couldnt speak no more than maybe 200 words, and those were all words like "mama, dada, nana, momom(for grandma), papaw, yes, no, up, down, etc.. Simple words. He had the vocab of a 1 1/2 or 2 year old. Not someone who was almost 4...

Finally, his 4th birthday came. Oh I was so happy! I just wanted a diagnosis. I just wanted an answer. To know that I am not crazy, that my child does have a problem...

The diagnosis.

ADHD. I was excited, but heart broken. The doctor wanted to test for things such as Autism, Aspergers, etc... But my child wouldnt sit long enough for the doctor to do anything! I never in a million years would think that I would have a child with a disability. Now, granted, it could be much worse. And for all I know, it could get worse... Everyday presents a new challenge with him. And its been a learning experience for all of us involved with him.

As much as we want to treat him like a normal child, we cant. He has special needs, special wants. And we need to take that into account when we punish him, or try to explain something to him...

As far as medication. I was scared to give him meds, but if it helped calmed him down to a normal level, and helped him sleep at night, then I would try it! He has tried a few medicines, but right now is on a combination that helps him so much! We are truely thankful for them. And has made a big difference in our lives... He is a normal, happy child, and we are so happy.


He was in what my city calls Prioity preschool. Which is preschool for kids who need an extra boost. Who need an extra advantage. It helped alot! My child learned new words! Can even count to 10 on his fingers! We are so proud of him. He is learning to be nice to others, is even taking care of himself (getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc). My baby is getting so big!

This year he starts Kindergarten. He is excited for his new school. He has to go in before school starts to get testing done. And that will help to determine what kind of class he will be in - special, or regular. Or if combination. He already has an IEP from his priority preschool teachers, and the kindergarten people will look at that, and take that into account...

One thing I have to say.. My child may not be book smart yet.. But he is really good with his hands.. With figureing out things... Examples... Nintendo DS - i bought it for me. But my son was playing with it, and got to a level that I had no idea exsisted on the game I was playing! I have to ask him to show me how to get to it!!! Crazy that a 4 year old could do that... He figured out the doorway gate at 1 1/2 yrs old within a few weeks... Those doorknob covers - yea, he figured those out in 2 days around the same time as the gate..... And those latches to help keep kids out the fridge - he figured those out within 2 hours just the other week!!!! My child is super smart! And i love that..

My only other concern for him is playing with kids who dont understand that he is different. He doesnt speak like a 5 year old. More like a 2 or 3 year old... And that causes alot of kids to not pay him any attention. And that hurts me as a mother. My child always is trying to talk to someone new. Arent we as parents supposed to teach our kids that when someone is different, you should still be nice to them. You shouldnt just ignore them like they arent there. But take them in, teach them something new? I guess only a select few of us were taught that.. kids these days are so mean!

My baby has friends, and the ones that he plays with have no problem with him. He is very friendly, kind, and caring.. I think that other good kids pick up on that, and is ok with his difference. Thats what makes him unique..

My child may have hard times ahead.. But we are brave. We can make it through. It may be hard, but it will be worth it.

Thanks for listening..

Jennifer Tyree...

Also - I just want to say that when you see a child acting out in the store, dont assume that the parent is just ignoring him/her just because... The child may have issues that you are unaware of. Dont pass your dirty looks, dont pass your judgement, and please, do not try to give advise. That parent may have a child with a disability. That child may just need to scream/cry it out. And the parent knows whats best for that child...
Before we went through this, I would stare at parents with kids who did this, and I would freak out and leave the store if my kid did this.. But I know have a better understanding of whats going on, and why they do this... I just want to share that it doesnt help when other parents look and point and stare.. be nice. be respectful..

Thank you so much!

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Ok, so I know this may sound crazy.. But a Twitter scavenger hunt? Yes, its true. Someone is crazy enough to do it! lol...
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